What sets the pros apart from the rest?
Take a look at successful weightlifters, powerlifters, fighters, BJJ players, shooters, operators, pole vaulters, track and field athletes at the start of a 100 m dash and think to yourself what do they all have in common … regardless of sport/activity?
They all have a set-up that prepares them for the task at hand
In defensive tactics and fighting it is the Fighting position that helps you keep your opponent where e you want him, it is choosing the right posture as something is about o go down, it is about positioning yourself and your opponent so that you can apply the attack, defense or escape you want to do and it is about having the skillset to change on the fly as the variables change.
For a shooter it is about finding a position that is stable at the same time as it allows for upper body movements in transitions between targets, it has too be easy and quick to get into, it has to be a position that is fast and easy to exit so that it allows for easy sprints between stations.
Every position is activity dependent but also depending on your physical capabilities and starting points and it should be assessed and individualized to fit those prerequisites.
For a lifter it is about finding a position that takes the lifters physical abilities, angles, leverages, mobility into consideration to maximize the ability generate force into the barbell, kettlebell, bar, ground, rope … or whatever implement is about to be manipulated.
Lets take a look at MY set up for a dead lift, just as an example.
- I walk up to the bar
- I make sure that your shins are touching the bar at the right place on the bar in relation to the plates and the rings of the bar
- I make sure that the right part of the shin is touching the bar and that the feet ar angled correctly to make sure that my hips are as free as possible to move without restriction.
- I hinge back, bend down to reach for the bar, one hand at the time in between my legs as I lift in a narrow sumo
- I roll the shoulder blades into place to assist in keeping the arms in place and activate the lats to straighten the back
- I keep the shoulders in place as I wedge myself between the ground and the weight of the bar, slowly increasing the pressure with my feet towards the ground
- I inhale through my nose to increase the intra abdominal pressure to protect the spine and help pressurize the chest cavity
- I centralize the weight over my feet, keeping my spine as vertical as possible to minimize the shearing forces on the the lumbar spine
- I slightly lean back to start taking the weight off the floor
- I start the exhalation to assist in the lift as I start extending the knees and the hips, driving my feet into the ground
- I focus on driving my traps diagonally up and back to help keeping the spine as neutral as possible through out the lift
- I focus on fully extending the hips by squeezing the glutes, extending the knees by pulling the kneecaps up knees while still focusing on keeping the shoulders back at the top of the lift
- I stay there and enjoy the rewards of another successful lift before I start the “descent” …
Why do I bing all this up, do i actually think of all those things every rep?
Yes, I do, but they do not feel forced at all as I have done them so many times that they all feel natural and a part of the process, it is just the way I do it.
If it on the other hand is the first time that I’m dead lifting in a while I will definitely focus even more on each of them as I do the warm up lifts to remind myself of the Groove. I will use it as an opportunity to practice and hone the skill of the lift.
Sometimes there will be one or more things that i feel are off and then as I progress in the warm up lifts i will put my focus on those particular parts of the lift, and as i feel more at home with the lift again I will start just lifting and all the steps described above will happen by themselves. And if they don’t I will go back to focusing on that part/detail that needs the focus.
As I started this post, it applies to any sport, any activity. All you have to do is to find yours.
Do you know your set-up? Do you have a system in place to maximize the effect of your training? Are you interested in setting one up and finding yours? I’ll help you!
You can always contact me through the contact form, email, phone, messenger, Instagram … and I’ll get back to you and we can set up an interview.